Caution
October 19, 2023

Worldwide Caution

Update
January 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Travel

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Learn About Your Destination

Netherlands

Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Exercise increased caution in the Netherlands due to terrorism.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in the Netherlands due to terrorism.

Country Summary: Terrorists continue plotting possible attacks in the Netherlands. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to the Netherlands.  

If you decide to travel to the Netherlands:   

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by large crowds or foreign nationals.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to any ongoing police action.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Country Security Report for the Netherlands.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
... [READ MORE]

Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


A passport must be valid for at least three months beyond planned date of departure from the Schengen area. The 12-page U.S. emergency passport is not accepted by Dutch authorities for visa-free entry into the Netherlands.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


Two pages required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


10,000 Euros or equivalent

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


10,000 Euros or equivalent

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy The Hague

John Adams Park 1
2244 BZ Wassenaar
Telephone:
+(31) (0) 70 310 2209
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +31 (0) 70 310 2209
Fax: +(31) (0) 70 310 2207

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam
Museumplein 19
1071 DJ Amsterdam
Telephone:
+(31) (0) 20 575-5309 (Emergencies involving U.S. citizens only)
Telephone:+(31) (0) 70 310 2209 (All other calls)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(31) (0) 70 310-2209
Fax: +(31) (0) 20 575 5330
Email: AmsterdamUSC@state.gov  

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on the Netherlands for information on U.S.-Netherlands relations.  

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

COVID-19 Requirements

There are no COVID-related entry requirements for U.S. citizens. 

Visit the Embassy of the Netherlands website for the most current visa information.

Traveling Through Europe: If you are planning to visit or travel through European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement. 

  • Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
  • If you plan on transiting a Schengen country, review our U.S. Travelers in Europe page.    
  • You will need sufficient proof of funds and a return plane ticket. 
  • For additional information about visas for the Schengen area, see the Schengen Visa page.

 

 

 

Dutch immigration authorities do not recognize the 12-page U.S. emergency passport, issued by U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, as a valid travel document for visa-free entry into the Netherlands.  If traveling on this emergency passport, please be aware that you will be refused entry by immigration officials and/or held at the airport until a return flight to the United States is available.  We strongly urge U.S. citizens in possession of the 12-page U.S. emergency passport to replace it with a full-validity passport before traveling to the Netherlands by air. 

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of the Netherlands.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights) 

Crime: While the rate of violent crime in the Netherlands is low, tourists are often targeted by pickpockets, bag snatchers, and other petty thieves and are active in and around train, tram, and metro stations in city centers; and aboard public transportation, especially to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Thieves often work in pairs: one distracts you, often by asking for directions, while the other moves in on your unguarded property. Use your hotel safe, and keep baggage locked or secured when you are away. Avoid leaving valuables in automobiles, especially electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets, GPS devices, and mobile telephones. Never leave your personal items or baggage unattended.

  • Most retailers in the Netherlands only accept a “chip and pin” card and will not accept a standard U.S. credit card containing only a magnetic strip. ATM and credit card users are advised to keep an eye on their cards at all times. If you feel uncomfortable using your card for any reason, use cash. Contact your credit card provider for further guidance.

Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Past demonstrations have turned violent.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories. 

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 112 or 0900-8844 for non-emergency cases.  See above for contact information for the U.S. Embassy The Hague and U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes in the Netherlands.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

The organization Slachtofferhulp Nederland (Victim Support Netherlands) provides a range of services for victims of crime, traffic accidents or disasters within the Netherlands. For more information, visit their webpage.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is well-regulated and rules in regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide lifesaving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.  

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Despite common misperceptions, marijuana and hashish are controlled substances in the Netherlands, and although not enforced in defined tourist areas, possession is a crime that can result in a fine. “Coffee shops” are havens for petty criminals who prey on tourists and other individuals under the influence of drugs. Persons who visit “coffee shops” have become victims of pickpocketing, identity theft, sexual assault, and other crimes. Visitors are cautioned against using such substances, as they are often counterfeit and can cause illness or death. It is illegal to take any controlled substance, such as marijuana, into or out of the Netherlands.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in the Netherlands. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: Dutch law guarantees equality and the right to access for people with disabilities. Information about accessibility in the Netherlands for travelers with disabilities is available on the Netherlands main online portal for visitors.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

COVID-19 Testing: For information about COVID-19 testing in the Netherlands, visit the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport webpage.

COVID-19 Vaccines: The COVID-19 vaccine is available for U.S. citizens to receive in the Netherlands if they are residents.  Visit the Dutch government’s COVID-19 page for more information about obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine in the Netherlands. Visit the FDA's website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.  

Good medical facilities are widely available in the Netherlands. Pharmacies (“Apotheek”) are widely available and can assist with emergency prescription needs. Some common medications are not available in the Netherlands without a prescription, and some prescription drugs cannot be imported into the country.

For emergency services in the Netherlands, dial 112.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Carry an adequate supply of prescription drugs in their original container in your carry-on luggage. Carry a letter from your pharmacist or medical doctor with you, as some drugs are subject to confiscation by local customs agents.  Check with the government of the Netherlands to ensure the medication is legal in the Netherlands. If you are traveling with any pre-existing medical conditions, bring a letter from your physician that describes your medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of any prescribed drugs.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

  • Lanes in the center of many urban two-way streets are reserved for buses, trams, and taxis.
  • In cities, pedestrians should be mindful of trams and buses, which often cross or share bicycle and pedestrian paths. Serious and sometimes fatal accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists colliding with trams and buses occur each year.
  • Motorists should be especially mindful of the fact that bicyclists have the right-of-way; motorists must yield to bicyclists.
  • Pedestrians should not walk along bicycle paths, which are often next to the sidewalk and usually designated by red pavement.

Traffic Laws:  

  • A valid driver’s license issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles in the United States is valid for use in the Netherlands while in tourist or visitor status. Please check here (Dutch only) for more information.
  • You must use seat belts and child seats.
  • Driving is on the right side of the road, as in the United States.
  • Speed limits are strictly enforced by radar. Traffic cameras are common throughout the Netherlands, and it is possible to receive a ticket for traveling even 2-5 km/h over the limit. Different limits may apply to certain hours of the day, as posted.
  • Drivers must yield the right-of-way to vehicles and bicyclists coming from the right at intersections or traffic circles unless otherwise posted.
  • The maximum allowable blood-alcohol content in the Netherlands is 0.05 percent.
  • The maximum allowable blood-alcohol limit for those who have had a driver’s license for less than five years is 0.02 percent.
  • Use of cellular telephones for talking or texting while driving without the use of a hands-free device is prohibited and is punishable by significant fines.
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians should be particularly cautious during the winter months, when paths, roads, and especially bridges can become icy and extremely slippery.

Public Transportation: 

Rail is often a convenient alternative to driving, particularly in the areas around Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam, where road congestion is frequent. Rail network information is available at http://www.ns.nl/en. It is relatively safe to travel by rail from city to city, compared to some other European countries but be aware of pickpockets. Taxi service in the Netherlands is safe but expensive. Trams and buses are both convenient and economical but are often frequented by pickpockets.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions.

Aviation Safety Oversight: 

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of the Netherlands’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of the Netherland’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel:

Mariners planning travel to the Netherlands should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Netherlands. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: March 3, 2023

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam
Museumplein 19
1071 DJ Amsterdam
Telephone
+(31) (0) 70 310 2209
Emergency
+(31) (0) 70 310 2209
Fax
+(31) (0) 20 575 5330

Netherlands Map